Memorandum Book






Signal for Battle










__Blue__ 9



Copied from the original in possession of Mr. Frank Littleton, Leesburg, Va., May 1929




March 7th Date of orders to build the Argus.


May 19th Recd. orders to command the Constitution.


June 2nd Recd. orders to command the U. S. Squadron destined for the Mediterranean.


June 25th Completed coppering the ship.


Aug. 14th Sailed for the Mediterranean in the Constitution 44 guns and 400 men.


Sept. 5th Saw Cape St. Vincent.


Sept. 7th Boarded the Moorish frigate Maimona of 30 guns from Settee bound to Lisbon, Cape S. Maria in sight.


Sept. 13th arrived [sic] at Gibraltar and found the U. S. Ship Philadelphia, Captain Bainbridge with a Moorish man of war of 22 guns his prize and the brig Celia of Boston captd. by the Moor and recaptured by the Philadelphia.


Sept. 14th The John Adams and Adams, U. States Frigates arrived from the eastward on their way to the U. States.


Sept. 17th Went to Tanger [sic] to demand satisfaction for the insult offered our flag in the capture of the Celia.


Sept. 19th Sent the Philadelphia and Vixen to blockade Tripoli and placed both vessels under immediate orders of Captain Bainbridge.


Oct. 6th The Emperor of Morocco with 2500 troops arrived at Tanger.


Oct. 13th Peace re‑established with the Emperor of Morocco and the Treaty of 1786 ratified and confirmed.


Oct. 15th Returned to Gibraltar.


 19th The Frigate [sic] New York and John Adams sailed for the U. S.


Oct. 23d. Sailed for Cadiz with the Enterprise in company arrived the same day.


Nov. 6th Sailed from Cadiz for Gibraltar.


Nov. 12th Declared Tripoli in a state of blockade.


Nov. 13th Sailed for the coast of Tripoli.


Nov. 19th Landed Col Lear and family at Algiers.


 20th Sailed.


Nov. 24th Spoke the British Frigate Amazon and received information of the loss of the Philadelphia on the coast of Tripoli.


27th Nov. Arrived off Malta and sent in a boat which brought me a letter from Captain Bainbridge dated Tripoli advising me of the loss of the Philadelphia.


 28th Arrived and anchd. at Syracuse.


 30th Mr. Deblois [Purser] died.


Dec. 12th The Vixen returned with the dispatches giving an account of the loss of the Philadelphia not having been able to reach Gibraltar on acct. of the severity of the weather.


 16th The Nautilus sailed with dispatches for Gibraltar to be forwarded from thence to the U. S. Navy Office.


Dec. 17th Sailed on a cruise off Tripoli the enterprise [sic] in company.


 23d. Captured the Turkish Ketch called Mastico with about 70 Tripolines on board.


 26th A heavy gale of wind from the N.E. in danger of being lost on the coast of Tripoli.


 30th Anchd. in Syracuse.




Jan. 12th Sailed in the Vixen for Malta on business for the squadron.


Jan. 14th Arrived at Malta Saluted the garrison which was returned. Was recd. with politness [sic] by the Navy and Army.


 24th sailed [sic] for Syracuse and arrived new [sic] day.


 27th Nautilus arrived from Gibraltar.


Feb. 3d. The Syren [sic] and Intrepid sailed for Tripoli to burn the Philadelphia.


 19th Syren and Intrepid arrived having executed my orders.


March 2d. sailed [sic] for Malta and arrived next day.


 6th Three Tunisian Corvettes arrived.


 17th Sailed from Malta and arrived at Syracuse the same day.


 21st Sailed for Tripoly [sic]. Caried [sic] over letters from the French Minister to the French consul [sic] sent to me by Mr. Levingston [sic].


March 27th Sent a Flag with the letters Officer of the Flag saw Capt. Bainbridge.


 28th French Consul dined on board off Tripoly.


 30th A heavy gale - N.E.


April 4th Anchd. at Tunis Bay. Syren in company.


 7th Put to sea in a gale from the N.W.


 12th Anchd. in Malta harbour [sic].


 13 Vixen brought me letters from our Consul at Algiers. Mr. Obrian [sic] joined us.


 14 sailed [sic] for Syracuse.


 15th Arrived and anchd. in Syracuse Harbour.


 17th Commissioned the Scourge. A gale from the westward.


 22d. Some difficulty with the Govt. of Syracuse respecting the detention of officers by closing the gates, which was adjusted the next day.


 26th Sailed on a cruise


 29th Sent a boat on shore at Malta


May 2d. Anchd. in Tunis Bay.


 3d. Sailed for Naples.


 7th Sent a [boat] on shore at Palermo in Sicily.


 9th Anchd. in Naples Bay.


 19th Sailed.


 25th Arrived at Messina.


 30th Sailed with 6 gun boats.


 31st Anchd. at Syracuse.


June 4th Saild. 6th anchd. at Malta.


June 9th Sailed from Malta for the Coast of Tripoly.


 13th Sent Mr. Obrian on shore at Tripoly under a Flag. He returned same day.


 14th Sailed for Tunis. Argus and Enterprize [sic] in company.


 19 Anchored in Tunis Bay.


 22d Sailed for Syracuse


 24th Touched at Malta.


 25 Arrived at Syracuse.


 28 Sent 2000 dollars and a quantity of clothing to Capt. B. at Tripoly [sic].


 29th Sailed for Messina.


July 1st Arrived and anchored at Messina.


 8th. The Nautilus sails for Syracuse with two bomb vessels under convoy.


 9th. I sailed for Syracuse and arrived same day.


 14th. Saild [sic] for the siege of Tripoly with 2 bomb vessels 6 gun boats and the Nautilus and Enterprise in company.


 16th. Anchd with the squadron at Malta.


 21st. Sailed with the squadron.


 25th. Arrived in sight of Tripoly.


 28th. Anchored the squadron near the batteries when a N. E. gale soon obliged us to go to sea again.


Aug. 3d. Attacked the town and harbour and captured 3 gun boats. Lt. Decatur was killed.


 7th. Attacked the batteries. Lost Lt. Caldwell, one Midshipman Mr. Dorsey and several men.


Aug. 8th. John Adams Capt. Chauncey arrived from the U.S.A.


 11th. Sent a flag on shore to endeavor to exchange prisoners.


 26th. Bombarded Tripoly.


 28th. Attacked the town and harbour with the whole squadron.


Sept. 3d. A general attack on the town and harbour.


 4th. Sent in the Intrepid fire ship. Lost Capt. Somers Lts. Wadsworth and Israel.


 7th. Gun boats sailed for Syracuse.


 10th. Comm. Barron arrived with the President and Constellation and took command.


 12th. Captured 2 Greek ships in sight of Tripoly for breach of blockade.


Sept. 14th Sailed from Malta [sic] with the two prizes in company.


 16th Arrived at Malta.


 22nd Sailed for Syracuse in the Argus to settle accounts.


 24th Arrived at Syracuse and ordered Capt. Decatur to go to Malta and take command of the Constitution.


 28th Took up my quarters on shore and left Capt. Decatur in command of the Constitution. Congress arrived.


 29th Joined the John Adams [as a passenger] Capt. Chauncey. [Note: bracketed phrase lined out.]


Nov. 2d Sailed for Syracuse. The President, Constitution and convoy in company.



Note: The foregoing was copied from a typescript made in May 1929 from the original, then in the possession of Mr. Frank Littleton of Leesburg, Virginia. The memorandum book continues on through Preble's return to the U.S. and subsequent activities building gunboats. The last entry is dated 20th February 1806.